Placement Test Sample Essay

The listening section has five passages that are tape-recorded. Students listen to each passage on tape and then answer five multiple-choice questions. Here is a sample:

"The following short listening passage is part of a listening test. You will hear a short sample of speech followed by five questions. Each question will be repeated on the tape, but the questions do not appear in the test booklet. You may take notes on the provided piece of paper. When you answer the questions, be sure to mark your answers on the scantron and not on the test booklet. Your notes will be collected after the test."

Listening passage one

"The banjo is a musical instrument which originated in Africa. Because African music is very much based on rhythm, the banjo looks very much like a drum and probably developed from a drum. It also has a neck and from four to six strings. The banjo was probably brought from Africa to America by slaves in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the United States, white country musicians began using the banjo to play their dance music. Eventually, the four-string banjo became an integral part of early jazz, called Dixieland and the five-string banjo became the foundation of a kind of fast country music called bluegrass.

"Listen to the following questions and mark your answers on your scantron sheet." 

1.  What is a banjo?
    a. a musical instrument
    b. a slave
    c. a kind of music
    d. a dance

2. Where did the banjo originate?
    a. in Asia
    b. in Europe
    c. In Africa
    d. In America

3. What are two kinds of music in which the banjo is used?
    a. four-string and five-string
    b. rhythm and strings
    c. the 16th and 17th century
    d. dixieland and bluegrass

4. What would be the most likely source of this listen passage?
    a. a music appreciation lecture
    b. a radio advertisement
    c. a political speech
    d. a TV situation comedy

5. If this listening passage continued, what would the next topic probably be?
    a. types of drums in Africa
    b. the problem of slavery in America
    c. some famous banjo players
    d. classical music today

Sample Exam Questions

Writing Sample
You should express your thoughts clearly and organize your ideas in paragraphs so that they will make sense to a reader. Your essay should be well developed with many specific details and at least two pages (four sides) in length. Correct grammar and sentence structure are important.

Sample Essay Topics
Can we judge others by the way they look? Does a person’s appearance reflect his or her character? Support your viewpoint with specific details from your knowledge or experience.
The government has made many addictive substances illegal because they may harm the health of those who take them. But alcohol and tobacco may also be dangerous to a person’s health, and they are legal. Should the government make these substances illegal? Support your viewpoint with specific details from your knowledge or experience.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Teenagers should not have jobs while they are still in high school. Support your viewpoint with specific details from your knowledge or experience.

Reading Comprehension

Arithmetic Skills

Elementary Algebra

Sentence Skills

This subtest is administered only to students applying to the college under the 24-Credit Hour GED program, home-schooled students, and international high school students applying for financial aid.


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